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Charleston attracts visitors from all walks of life

Volunteers contribute to the maintenance of Charleston's beaches
Photo by Richard Ellis/Getty Images

Although the most historical city in South Carolina, Charleston is more than just a mecca of stately mansions and old world charm. It boasts beautiful beaches, engaging live entertainment, numerous outdoor activities and historical attractions. Many vacationers prefer staying on the beach while in Charleston, rather than mid-city, as this is a convenient and pleasurable way to enjoy the best of both worlds.

Attractions and Activities

The Charleston Water Taxi is arguably one of the most enjoyable and convenient ways to see this intriguing and delightful city. It runs between Patriots Point and the Aquarium Wharf on an hourly basis, and visitors are practically assured of at least one dolphin sighting along the way. Voted Best inexpensive boat cruise in Charleston in 2010, visitors will not be disappointed with this unique way to experience the city.

Drayton Hall

Drayton Hall should be placed on everyone's must-see list, whether he or she is on an extended stay or simply traveling through the city. This Georgian-Palladian architectural creation was built in 1738 and is the nation's oldest plantation open for public touring. Tours run 365 days a year and discounts are available for students, children, and senior citizens.

Morris Island Lighthouse

Built in 1873, the Morris Island Lighthouse is located on a sand bar at the gate of the Charleston Harbor. The lighthouse was initially utilized to mark the southern harbor's mouth, but erosion and changing currents over the past century have resulted in the lighthouse standing about a third of a mile offshore. The light can be seen best from the North Folly Island City Park--also an ideal area in which to enjoy an uncrowded walk on the beach.

Top Charleston Hotels

Folly Beach, sometimes called "Summer's Folly," and the Isles of Palms are situated at Sullivan's Island–the closest beach area to historical Charleston. At either beach, guests will find numerous hotel options with something to please every traveler. Among the top Charleston beach hotels are the Wild Dunes and the Holiday Inn at Folly Beach. Both hotels offer a quaint and intimate atmosphere, and the rooms are tastefully decorated in the celebrated plantation decor that visitors to this charming area have come to expect. Those who want to take in spectacular views of the Kanawha River should consider booking reservations at the newly renovated Four Points by Sheraton Charleston.

Those who prefer a Charleston vacation rental that includes a kitchenette, laundry services and separate bedrooms may wish to consider the Ocean Inn located on the Isle of Palms just one block from the beach. The Ocean Inn is pet-friendly, as well, which is not common in the Charleston area, making it a nice choice for those who travel with furry friends. This hotel is also a favorite of extended stay travelers.

It is imperative to make reservations early in order to secure one's first choice of accommodations and great packages can be found for reasonable prices with a little time and effort on the part of the traveler. The timeless appeal of Charleston, South Carolina draws tourists and vacationers back again and again each year, and touring this beautiful and engaging coastal city is an experience no one should miss.